Amazon has topped the list of the 6th annual Most Innovative Tech Brands survey conducted by Brand Keys, with General Motors, Hulu, Lyft, Instagram, Nike also making the list.
The study found consumers’ identification with brands and innovation continues to broaden and transform categories.
“The 21st century may not have delivered on the promise of flying cars,” noted Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president. “But it is clearly meeting its potential in terms of providing products and services that better meet consumers’ technological expectations – including self-driving cars.”
Top 20 Most Innovative Tech Brands
For 2018 4,628 consumers were asked to name companies and brands that were highest on their lists of technological innovators, with the following top 20 results. Numbers in parentheses indicate movement up or down the innovation list YOY.
1. Amazon (–)
2. Apple (+2)
3. Google (–)
4. Netflix (+1)
5. Samsung (-3)
6. Spotify (+10)
7. YouTube (+4)
8. Instagram (new)
9. Uber (+1), Lyft (new)
10. IBM (+3)
11. Slack (-1)
12. Microsoft (–)
13. Tesla (+1)
14. Airbnb (+3)
15. HBO (-7)
16. Hulu (new)
17. Twillo (+1)
18. LinkedIn (+1)
19. Snap (-10), CVS Health (new)
20. GM (new), Square (new)
Innovation Winners and Losers
Six brands transformed the 2018 list, including Instagram (#8) with its multi-platform social and marketing network, and Lyft (#9), which tied Uber “as the anti-Uber,” noted Passikoff.
Nike appears for the first time (#11), “For its continuing consumer customization,” said Passikoff. Square entered the list (#20) based on its innovative merchant services aggregator, GM (#20) for its leadership in self-driving cars, and CVS Health (#19) with its paradigm-shifting ‘minute clinics’ and anti-tobacco stance.
Three brands fell off the list this year, including: Facebook, whose lack of privacy innovation has come under extreme consumer scrutiny in the past year. Buzzfeed lost out to “more viral and traditional news sites,” noted Passikoff. “The Washington Post just missed the list this year. It seems its peripheral association with Amazon is an innovation-booster.” Line (#19 in 2017) “Came across as soft to consumers, who constantly demand more when it comes to communication connection and innovation,” said Passikoff
Innovation the Consumer Expects
Consumers’ expectation for constant innovation, and the expansion of technological innovation, is crossing over B2C and B2B lines more and more. “Each new brand on our list stands for something that advances the category in which they compete, with a lot of consumer-to-business crossover,” noted Passikoff.
The 2018 Most Innovative Tech Brands list makes it clear that consumers’ ideas about innovation continue to change. Consumers have come to see innovation and change as an expectation within virtually every category. “And, it’s the wise brand that remembers it’s not about having ideas any more,” said Passikoff. “It’s about making ideas happen!”